What does your recovery communication look like?

🇬🇧  English version

The days of the metro, work, sleep ... Today, the morning meetings have become Zoom conferences, those in the afternoon endless exchanges of emails, and the evening commute has been replaced. by long minutes to fight with his wifi connection. However, communicators have not given up! During the confinement period, 95% of the Communication teams had to adapt and start teleworking. The We Are COM team surveyed more than 120 companies, to learn more about their recovery plan and their new challenges, and asked Arnaud Zegierman, de the study institute Viavoice, to understand the current context. Make way for the COM 2020 V2 plan!

The results of the investigation We Are COM


🕺 The crisis, synonymous with promotion for communicators?

Let us first recall that out of the 126 communicators of the We Are COM collective who participated in our survey, 65% of them are part of companies with a crisis unit. And you know what ? Communication expertise is there in 70% of cases and in a large number of sectors of activity: banking, transport, IT, textiles, automobiles, industry, etc. Moreover, 2/3 of communicators consider that this crisis has enhanced their profession and half say they have been able to assess the effectiveness of their communication actions. The downside: communicators sometimes perceive a lack of consideration on the part of their General Management.

🤷♀️ Communicators prepared or heckled?

Never change a winning team. Indeed, the organization of communication departments has not changed in these times of crisis. But what the communicators lacked, they are really sophisticated technological tools to promote internal and external exchanges. The majority of communicators admit some shortcomings in crisis communication that we will try to fill during the workshops of the Club We Are COM. Others regret too light a budget and not suitable for emergency communication deployments! In this troubled period, monitoring sensors are multiplying: competitive, environmental, e-reputation, regulatory monitoring, etc.

💃 The show must go on!

As you know the impact of COVID-19 on event communication. The ban on large gatherings has resulted in the cancellation of 45% of COM events (trade fairs, festivals, congresses, managerial meetings, etc.), against 54% of postponements. We keep our fingers crossed that it is only a postponement! Among the alternatives, we can cite videoconferences and webinars. In short, the professional relationship is dematerialized without being dehumanized. Companies have mobilized a lot, with their communicators to the workforce, for solidarity actions: donations to hospitals and to the most vulnerable people such as in nursing homes (58%) like Decathlon masks ; promotion of new platforms dedicated to mutual aid or teleconsultations (18%) such as Axa's toll-free number, thanks to strongly mobilized partners (13%) and calls for solidarity, particularly via social networks or customer newsletters (11%).

👉 What's next in 2020?

Even if few communicators had already finalized their recovery plan the day before May 11, many decisions had already been taken for the rest of 2020. While more than three quarters of communicators think they will adapt their communication strategy this year, via CSR, digital, customer reinsurance, solidarity in particular, budgets will mainly be reduced or in the best case be at ISO. Their primary objective? meet the expectations of their post-containment targets by focusing on proximity, usefulness, transparency and empathy.

💪 In conclusion for the recovery?

In spite of everything, questions remain unanswered among the communicators: " What will our working conditions be during and after this long deconfinement? "," How will the behavior of our audiences change? ". The future is still unclear while showing a general awareness to which brands will have to respond or at least integrate. This is the real challenge that emerges, synonymous with renewal and potential expressions of purpose of each company with concrete evidence. Tomorrow, proximity will certainly be the key to communications with both external audiences andinternal.

Findings and advice from Arnaud Zegierman, expert at Viavoice


The pandemic episode and the containment phase raised unprecedented questions in terms of their content and scope for companies and their communications departments. Above all, these questions simultaneously address issues that have until then been too often segmented:

Societal issue (= macro)

  • In which directions is the company moving?
  • What is the positioning of my company in the face of these changes? Is she a pioneer? / visionary? / leader? / follower / conformist? / outdated?
  • What is its role, its uniqueness, its added value?

Citizen issue

  • Should / can my business be of use to society? How? 'Or' What ?
  • To what extent is civic engagement will be genuinely useful / risk of being perceived as opportunistic?

Commercial issue

  • What is the impact of recent events on my image, my positioning, my sales?
  • Does my place in my markets have to change?

Internal problem

  • How are my employees?
  • What is the role of my company vis-à-vis them today?
  • How to help them (from a psychological, practical, operational point of view…)?
  • How to (re) motivate them?

Personal issue

  • What is the psychological impact of what has been experienced?

According to Arnaud Zegierman of the institute Viavoice, it will therefore be a question of identifying new sensors, allowing each company to find its way and better find its way in a disrupted and shifting context. Just that!

In this context, it will be important to take into account certain signals that are finer than simple reaction sensors (desire to consume, distrust of certain sectors, level of anxiety, etc.). These new indicators will not answer direct questions. But they will make it possible to better anticipate the reactions of public, to understand the different logics and their coherences. In other words, they do not deliver direct answers but allow a better understanding of a context.

For illustration, each organization should now have in mind that:

The psychological impact of confinement cannot be trivial:  

  • More'1 out of 5 French people was confined alone.
  • 43% said during this period that the lack of relationships with relatives was the main difficulty.

The morphology of the link with the company is likely to change:

  • 87% of employees said they wanted their company to hear from them during confinement.

The so-called “next world” is not yet being built on new convictions:  

  • 60% of French people say events since the start of the epidemic have strengthened their beliefs about what works and doesn't work in society. For 13%, they had no impact. Alone 22% questioned their beliefs.

Join the Club We Are COM 🚀

Le Club We Are COM allows communication professionals to progress together during moments of sharing best practices only between peers, all sectors combined. Objective: an increase in collective skills in particular thanks to a workshop each month on concrete cases, responses to the major challenges of the COM, meetings with renowned experts, etc. Always exchanges in complete transparency and independence based on feedback: 0% self-promotion, 100% conviction.

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